The foundations of the Patagonian icefields

Fürst J, Farías Barahona D, Blindow N, Casassa G, Gacitúa G, Koppes M, Lodolo E, Millan R, Minowa M, Mouginot J, Pȩtlicki M, Rignot E, Rivera A, Skvarca P, Stuefer M, Sugiyama S, Uribe J, Zamora R, Braun M, Gillet-Chaulet F, Malz P, Meier W, Schaefer M (2024)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2024


Book Volume: 5

Article Number: 142

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1038/s43247-023-01193-7


The two vast Patagonian icefields are a global hotspot for ice-loss. However, not much is known about the total ice volume they store - let alone its spatial distribution. One reason is that the abundant record of direct thickness measurements has never been systematically exploited. Here, this record is combined with remotely-sensed information on past ice thickness mapped from glacier retreat. Both datasets are incorporated in a state-of-the-art, mass-conservation approach to produce a well-informed map of the basal topography beneath the icefields. Its major asset is the reliability increase of thicknesses values along the many marine- and lake-terminating glaciers. For these, frontal ice-discharge is notably lower than previously reported. This finding implies that direct climatic control was more influential for past ice loss. We redact a total volume for both icefields in 2000 of 5351 km3. Despite the wealth of observations used in this assessment, relative volume uncertainties remain elevated.

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Fürst, J., Farías Barahona, D., Blindow, N., Casassa, G., Gacitúa, G., Koppes, M.,... Schaefer, M. (2024). The foundations of the Patagonian icefields. Communications Earth & Environment, 5(1).


Fürst, Johannes, et al. "The foundations of the Patagonian icefields." Communications Earth & Environment 5.1 (2024).

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